Sub-Saharan Africa

Authored by: Robert H. Stockman , Will C. van den Hoonaard

The World of the Bahá'í Faith

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138367722
eBook ISBN: 9780429027772
Adobe ISBN:


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The first Sub-Saharan Africans became Bábís and Bahá’ís in nineteenth-century Iran, but the first Bahá’ís living in the region were in South Africa in 1911. Significant growth began in 1950 and accelerated in the period 1953–1963, when scores of North American, Persian, and European Bahá’ís pioneered to dozens of countries. By 1963, over 40,000 Africans had become Bahá’ís, four regional Spiritual Assemblies had been elected to coordinate Bahá’í activities, and a temple had been completed in Kampala, Uganda. By the 1980s, nearly every African country had its own national Spiritual Assembly, the continent had over 7,000 local Spiritual Assemblies, and the nearly million Bahá’ís came from over 1,300 ethnic groups. To strengthen local Bahá’í communities, hundreds of educational, health, and agricultural projects were inaugurated. Subsequent decades have been dedicated to building strong rural communities. Two additional Bahá’í temples have been built or are under construction.

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